Skip to content
Globe Icon

BMI, physical activity, and future care needs

2014 Conference Presentation

Evaluation EnglandUnited Kingdom

1 September 2104

BMI, physical activity, and future care needs

Olena Nizalova, University of Kent, United Kingdom
Julien Forder, University of Kent, United Kingdom


Previous literature shows that Body Mass Index (obesity status) is a strong predictor of the disability and functional limitations.

Relying on the data from the English Longitudinal Survey of Ageing over the period from 2002 to 2011, we find that obesity status is also a significant risk factor in determining future informal care needs but not formal care use, even after controlling for ADLs and IADLS and for specific existing health conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and CVD. Obese elderly are 1.7–1.8 times more likely to use informal care and privately paid care, but not formal care, in two-year’s time. Sensitivity analysis on a restricted sample shows that this result is not driven by prediabetes. We also find that physical activity is associated with a significantly lower likelihood of using any mode of care in the future, with the strongest effect for formal care use. Moreover, the effect of obesity on informal care use is larger for females, but the protective effect of physical activity is stronger for males.

Audio   Slides